Rafael Guastavino stands on recently laid tile arch along Boylston Street, construction of the McKim Building

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    File name: 06_03_000059

    Call no.: T.R. Cab. 5.4 Vol. 1

    Title: Rafael Guastavino stands on recently laid tile arch along Boylston Street, construction of the McKim Building

    Creator/Contributor: Stevens, Edward F. (Edward Fletcher), 1860-1946 (photographer); McKim, Mead & White (architect)

    Date created: 1889-04-08

    Physical description: 1 photographic print : albumen silver print

    Summary: Guastavino was an immigrant from Spain who brought with him a technique of constructing tile vaults and arches that were incredibly strong, relatively light, and resistant to damage and breach by fire. The Guastavino fire proof vaults were used extensively throughout the McKim Building. Photo No. 55 by Edward Stevens, Clerk of Works.

    Genre: Albumen prints

    Notes: Image from: Public library building Copley Square : photographs of progress of the work August 1888 to Dec. 31, 1889; Image caption: Tile arches. Apr. 8, 1889. #55

    Subjects: Public libraries; Building construction; Vaults (Architecture); Boston Public Library; Guastavino, Rafael, 1842-1908

    Collection: Trustees’ Library

    Location: Boston Public Library, Rare Books Department

    Rights: No known restrictions

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    1. moonman82 2 months ago | reply

      See his works at the Museum of the City of New York 1220 Park avenue 3-26-14
      Throughout the five boroughs are more than 200 long-overlooked marvels of engineering and architectural beauty—the interlocking tile vaults built by Spanish immigrants Rafael Guastavino, Sr. (1842-1908), and his son, Rafael Jr. (1872-1950). The system of structural tile vaults developed by the Guastavinos—lightweight, fireproof, low-maintenance, and capable of supporting significant loads—was used by leading architects of the day, including McKim, Mead & White and Carrere and Hastings. Ellis Island’s Registry Room, Carnegie Hall, the Bronx Zoo’s Elephant House, and Grand Central Terminal all contain Guastavino vaults.

      Palaces for the People: Guastavino and the Art of Structural Tile is the first major exhibition to explore the innovations the Guastavino Fireproof Construction Company (1889-1962) brought to the science and art of building. It was originally organized by MIT’s John Ochensdorf, who is a MacArthur Fellow; it is substantially expanded here to include some 20 key Guastavino spaces in the five boroughs.

      Exhibition Co-chairs: Paul Katz, FAIA; Jill Lerner, FAIA; Leslie Earl Robertson; and SawTeen See

      Presented in partnership with the Avery Architectural and Fine Arts Library, Columbia University.

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